Study reveals economic impact of Swiss cannabis legislation

The researchers based their calculations on the annual consumption of about 56 tons of cannabis in Switzerland - or 750,000 joints daily. © Keystone/Anthony Anex

Cannabis generates an annual turnover of around CHF1 billion ($1.03 billion) in Switzerland, according to a new study.

This content was published on June 20, 2022 - 14:50

The figure, published by the University of GenevaExternal link on Monday, contains production, import and trade in the shadow economy as well as legal economic activity, notably policing, the justice system, social work and healthcare.

It is the equivalent of CHF582 million in annual revenue of the Swiss market for recreational cannabis, according to researchers.

In addition, the direct and indirect turnover of the other segments of the cannabis system amount to about CHF425 million annually without factoring in the total gross value added, the study said.

The “total employment effect of the economic activity” related to the current system is about 4,400 full-time equivalents.

The researchers also simulated three different scenarios to show the potential economic impact of alternative cannabis regulation. It would achieve a turnover of between CHF650 million and CHF200 million.

Cannabis is a banned drug in Switzerland. Cannabis products are only permitted if they contain less than 1% of the active substance THC. But even then, some rules must be observed.

Since May 2021, scientific pilot trials with cannabis for recreational purposes have been permitted subject to approval by the government.

A previous study published by a group of organisations including Addiction Switzerland in 2020 estimates the national cannabis market to be worth up to CHF500 million ($515 million).

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.